On September 9 I wrote on Twitter, "@rjellory It's sad that you felt the need to disgrace yourself and the entire literary community with your deception on Amazon". R J Ellory was caught using a false identity to write positive reviews about his own books and negative reviews about his colleague's books. If you're wondering what I'm talking about, please feel free to check out these links to different articles.
After I wrote my reaction on Twitter I received a private message on my Facebook account from the author himself. I was initially taken aback since he didn't message me on Twitter and he felt the need to respond privately but now I feel that I should share it with the rest of the world.
The author admitted to writing the reviews but points fingers at other authors, their families and friends. I thought that was a strange and pathetic defense but I suppose he didn't really have a defense at all. The way I see it, he did shame the literary community. Of course he would disagree because that's a strong accusation but in my humble opinion, that's the way I feel. If you read the articles, I'm not the only one either. It's deceitful. Friends and family members writing rave reviews is bound to happen just as parents brag about children to their friends but it is an entirely different thing to assume a false identity and praise yourself. Then on top of that get angry at a stranger for judging them. Those are the consequences.
The only reason this came to light was because he got caught. It's true Amazon can't prevent this from happening but I think readers need to learn from this and be more diligent when it comes to choosing a book. I would suggest not reading the reviews at all. You never know where they're coming from.
As you've probably figured out, I'm a writer. I've been writing my whole life but it wasn't until recently that I realized that's what I want to be, an author. Now I'm taking charge and being a woman of action!
Except, right now, I feel like I'm waiting. Why am I waiting? What am I waiting for? Well, I just submitted a short story to a literary magazine and I'm waiting to hear back. It's a little bit nerve wracking when I think about it. So most of the time I work on my other short stories, poems or my novel to keep my mind occupied. Then it hits me, I submitted something I wrote to someone I don't know.
I haven't shown my writing to a lot of people. Unless of course you insist on counting all of the essays I've written. Essays with long, complicated titles and pages and pages of pedantic nonsense. That's how they made me feel anyway. When I write fiction or poetry, I feel...I feel content. It's exactly what I want to be doing. It feels good.
Then I think about it again and I think, y'know, they probably won't like it. Don't you hate the little nay-sayer in your head? "No, you can't do that," it hisses cruelly. Then the rational part of me says, even if they don't like it, that's okay. They don't have to like it. What's important to me right now is the fact I put myself out there and tried. You know what else? I'm going to keep trying.
I think failure is just as important as success. In fact, I know it is. Failure teaches you what not to do so you change it for next time. Although who doesn't enjoy success?
Here's to crossing my fingers for good news!
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